Reprinted by Permission: Cup, Coffee Connoisseur and Chanteuse Weekly, 2002, "From Glaze to Glory: One Cup's Life" --by Coffee Cup Joe
We never know where we'll end up in this world.
No one knows this better than me! Pleased to meechya, I'm Coffee Cup Joe. And this is the story of how I came to be here, ultimately writing my very own story for you to read.
I was born an 'Odd Cup' on a coffee cup manufacturing assembly line, somewhere outside of Fresno, California. I was halfway through my processing, when a worker picked me up for a quality control inspection. After my inspection, I ended up in the Wrong Department, and was mistakenly glazed together with a saucer plate!
...ever have a day like that?
Well, after I cooled down some, one of the line workers picked me up and escorted me right into the shift supervisor's office. The supervisor, Tina Wobbler, thought it was unique to have a cup combination such as mine. She adopted me on the spot .
I hung around on her desk for a while, holding pencils, watering plants, then one day she took me home. I became her morning cup for coffee! Quicker than a bean could grind, she named me...
...Coffee Cup Joe.
Tina began talking with me, telling me how unique I was, and how someday, I could be anything I wanted no matter what obstacles lay in front of me. This really helped my self esteam after the whole glazing incident.
She ended up keeping me for a while. We spent lots of quality coffee time together - every morning, in fact! I would hear her tell her friends that "she was having Coffee with Joe" each morning. I learned a lot from Tina, but I still couldn't share in her conversations.
We vacationed our first summer together. Somehow, I beat out the To Go Cup to make the trip. The first three weeks of that summer changed my life forever...
...guess what happened?
Tina took me into every coffeehouse, cafe and restaurant from Fresno to Seattle. I got to see first handle where the other cups from the plant ended up. I felt very different , and "unique" as Tina always said.
Since I couldn't fit into her car's cupholder, Tina stuck a big wad of bubble gum to the bottom of my saucer. She stuck me to the best seat in the car, right on top of the dash, with the most beautiful view of a world I never even knew existed! She didn't even mind when coffee spilled out of my head...
We turned right at Seattle and headed toward "Big Sky" Montana country. I didn't know she was lost, but Tina told me she was "finding herself" on this vacation. Well, "Big Sky" also came with "Big Sun", and before we knew it, the gum became a permanent and sticky wad on the bottom of my saucer!
I didn't know it, but a lucky break, was right around the corner...
We entered a coffeeshop in Missoula, Montana, and the nicest lady offered to help free us of the gum. She took me in back, put me in a freezer, and left me for a while. I felt like I was getting the special "chilled bar glass" treatment.
I hadn't known her long, but this lady was special. Her name was Amy Free . She impressed me with her caring, elegance and way with words - she had a command of the language. She really rocked my cup.
Anyway, when she finally claimed me from the freezer, the gum, which adhered to my saucer, was permanently stuck in the shape of what appeared to be a body and there was no getting rid of it!
I was finally adjusting to the oddity I had become, and thinking "hey, I bet I could get off the dash more often," but then I realized...something was wrong. Tina was gone! She must have found herself, or forgotten I was in the freezer, and gone on her way! No more car rides, no more vacation, and no morning coffee.
I could have thrown in the stir stick, but I remembered Tina's words...and I'm a cup as tough as porcelain.
Besides, unbeknownst to me, I had a newfound friend in Amy. So there I am, laying awkwardly on my side due to the gum issue, and Amy cups me in her hands by the warmth of the humming dishwasher. Call it a miracle, call it divine caffeination, but magic came through her hands , I tell you, and I HAD LIFE! I actually ran down the length of the counter, I was so happy. My little gum body propelled me all around the coffeeshop, and I knew I had been Free'd .
I hung around Amy's shop for some time, sitting, standing, jumping, and talking - I couldn't stop talking with her. Amy had traveled the world, written books, and had adventures in many parts known and unknown.
After a few months with Amy, she let me know, just like Tina, that I was unique. And she thought the whole world might like to get to know Coffee Cup Joe.
Amy made a few calls to her journalism buddies out in New York, and before you could rip a sugar packet, I was put on a bus to the Big City . I was a little cup in a big world, and had no idea what was in store for me. "Relax, Joe," Amy said, "my friend, Capshaw, is an editor and wants to meet you. He may even have an entry level job for you. And besides, you're a conversationalist - write what you see, think and experience."
The bus ride was fun - the driver even let me sit on my old perch, the dash. Before long, my dangling legs accidentally turned on the radio, and WOW! I heard ALL KINDS of MUSIC! I was hooked, and tried every style, every station, every language - I loved it all.
I just knew my life was gonna be fun from this point forward.
"Schlumdackledaddy," I told the bus driver, "Schlumdackledaddy!"
When we pulled into New York City, I was the happiest cup in the world. Like I said, we never know where we'll end up in this world.
Which brings me to COFFEE WITH JOE!
I had heard great music in the coffeeshops I visited, but had NO IDEA how much music there really is in the world. And before I knew it, I was filled to the brim with an idea:
Since COFFEE and MUSIC go together so well, why aren't there many SONGS ABOUT COFFEE out there? I remember so many mornings with Tina and Amy, when we would just BE together, having a great time with coffee and listening to music, but I never heard one coffee song.
Fast forward to my job at the newsroom. It turns out for my first few months, I swept floors, then cleaned the heads on the tape players, (I never did get the hang of that...) then got everyone's lunch orders together, then FINALLY, I was offered the chance of a lifetime:
I got to interview a Real-Live Musician!
I really botched my first interview; my head overflowed every time I looked at my cheat notes, and I asked too many questions about COFFEE. But I was really curious about the MUSIC - COFFEE Connection!
Luckily, Capshaw felt I had promise, and he gave me ALL the musician interviews from that point forward. The more musicians I met, the more I learned about the biz, and the more I learned that some of these artists really did have songs about coffee, they were just hard to find!
Well, I felt like I had a new purpose in life. I figured, why not put together a full CD's worth of COFFEE SONGS for everyone to enjoy, any time, anywhere they want? After all, COFFEE + MUSIC is a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE!
And, guess what I called it??!!
That's Right...COFFEE WITH JOE!
Believe Me, I did my research (as any good journalist would). Amy really emphasized the importance of 'research things 'til you get it right' with me.
I had to sit on this COFFEE SONG story and my COFFEE WITH JOE CD for a LONG TIME . Periodically, I would check in with artists to see if they might have an old tune about Coffee. One artist realized what I was after, and even wrote a brand new song that can only be found on my CD, just for this special occasion!
Songs about trains, songs about love, songs about love on trains, songs about breaking up, songs about cars, they're everywhere! But I, my friends, give the gift of SONGS about the LOVE OF COFFEE! and the whole COFFEE EXPERIENCE!
It's the gift that keeps on giving!
I wanna tell you where you can find COFFEE WITH JOE. But first, let me share an excerpt from my interview with the fabulous TRACY STARK. Her song "COFFEE" is on my CD, and she is one of the very first artists I interviewed.
I took the Path Train from the City, and met up with Tracy in Hoboken, NJ. I believe that's Frank Sinatra's old stomping grounds! Here's an excerpt from our interview...
(Excerpt From Coffee Cup Joe's Tracy Stark Interview)
"Tracy, is (your song 'Coffee') in the least bit semi-autobiographical? Are you really known to drink 15 cups of coffee in one day?"
"I still love coffee, but the days have long passed when I would attempt to drink 15 cups in a day --- that was more my frame of mind when I was in college... they would make a big deal about not allowing coffee in your practice room. But...coffee is imperative...I wrote the first version of Coffee as a humorous reaction to getting in trouble because I got caught with coffee in my practice room."
They say New York City is the city that never sleeps. Do you think coffee helps?
"Let's see... just take a look at some of those crowded all-night diners, at 3 AM.
"You see people socializing over coffee, reading books with their coffee, doing work on their computers with their coffee, and nursing hangovers with their coffee..."
You've obviously traveled quite a bit with your work.
People drink a lot of coffee around the world, don't you think?
"That's a great point you make! Are there any cultures that don't drink coffee? As a midday pick-me-up? Or as a social mediator?
"Or just because it tastes so good? It seems like everywhere you go, they have a certain unique way of preparing their java."
(CONTINUED IN COFFEE CUP JOE'S NEWSLETTER...)
Tracy is truly amazing; she's a phenomenal pianist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and musical director who travels around the world... Guess what helps to keep her going? You got it, COFFEE!
You can imagine how Happy I am that Tracy's song about coffee is on my COFFEE WITH JOE CD!
Plus, if you'd like, I'll send my "Best of the World's" audio and written stories about my journeys, music & interviews, along with "insider" coffee secrets absolutely free!
Just email Wild Critter Productions with "Artist Interviews" or "Stories" in the Subject Line to get News, Stories, Music and Coffee Information from
Being a cup of conviction, I was committed to my COFFEE WITH JOE plan, and spoke with enough artists after my interviews to find out they really liked my idea, too! I went on with my research to grind out the particulars.
My colleagues back at the newsroom were all rooting for me, too. They could hardly wait for me to finish my assignments to hear about the songs and artists that might soon make it to my CD. Coffee and Music were once again bringing so many people together!
Finally, my fabulous project was finished! I remember Tina's inspiring words, and knew that COFFEE WITH JOE was the perfect name for my CD. My only concern was that I was unsure how I could let everyone in the world know what a fantastic and good feeling CD this is, with so many GREAT musicians on it, and the absolutely wonderful work that Coffee Kids is doing...
Wait 'til you hear what Mr. Capshaw said...
Oh! but first, I need to tell you about COFFEE KIDS®!
Coffee Kids® Does Really Great Things
For The Families That Grow Our Coffee! www.coffeekids.org
Until I began researching coffee so that I could learn more about the COFFEE - MUSIC connection, I had no idea what a highly traded commodity it was, how many people devote their lives to growing coffee, and how many people actually drink it.
But, when one of my colleagues was assigned to write a story about a coffee farm in Guatemala, I BEGGED Mr. Capshaw to let me tag along. Boy, did this cup get an education...
I learned that coffee blessings don't always filter down to the people that grow it.
I learned that coffee farmers earn as little as a penny a pound for their harvest, and even in years their crops do well and prices are high, children of coffee growers go without a lot of things I take for granted.
I learned that one coffee tree yields slightly less than a pound of coffee per year.
I learned that in Guatemala, many children die before they're five, and there's only one doctor in the Western Highlands for 85,000 people.
That, my friends, got me thinking...
Coffee makes me runneth over. And, Music sugars my daily life. And-- well, I just feel so great about my CD, I thought maybe there's a way to make it help the lives of those coffee farmers in Guatemala. Without people like them, I might never have even met Tina or Amy, or had anything in common with all those musicians I interviewed!
I contacted Coffee Kids®. I learned a lot from their website, and then worked up the courage to call...
I spoke with Chipper, explained my COFFEE - MUSIC connection theory, and how I wanted to give my gift of Coffee and Music to everyone I could possibly reach because after all, I'd like everyone to be able to enjoy life the way a true coffee lover savors a Great cup of coffee...
I also explained what I'd learned from my assignment, and that I hoped somehow I could help, even just a little bit, some of those coffee farming communities.
Well, the light and dark of it is that I get to donate a portion of every sale of my COFFEE WITH JOE CD to Coffee Kids® so that they can keep helping the families that grow coffee!
And that's just what I'm doing!
Every time someone buys my COFFEE WITH JOE CD, they will actually be helping the coffee farming communities of the world improve the quality of their lives through the help of Coffee Kids®!
I've brewed and percolated my project and I Can't Believe I'm about to finally unveil it to you! HERE IT IS:
Strong ,mild ,exotic ,organic --, some are even served over ice!
For a little while, I can even offer FREE SHIPPING through the Coffee Cup Joe Store!
But, wait --would you like to hear some clips of the GREAT COFFEE SONGS and learn a bit about the FANTASTIC ARTISTS on COFFEE WITH JOE? Just click on the Wild Critter button below, and read on while I share some smooth details about these multi-flavored musicians!
Click "Play" to hear a streaming sample of 30-second song clips from COFFEE WITH JOE!
If you love coffee, you'll find that there is no better way to enjoy all the best songs about coffee, and coffee experiences than by listening to the artists that are on my one-of-a-kind compilation!
These songs keep me in great spirits while I'm out on assignments, relaxing around the counter, or hanging on the dash on my way to work... I'm so happy listening to it, that you couldn't even get me to take it out of my CD player for a date with the prettiest Teacup in England!
The brilliant musicians on this disc provide the freshest brew of simply the best coffee songs that I could have ever put together. Let me tell you a bit about them now!
Meet the Artists of COFFEE WITH JOE! ...and their Independently Roasted, Organic, Palette-Pleasing Songs (in order of appearance on COFFEE WITH JOE)
Gary Rex Tanner ~ "Black Coffee" To get your body moving, you can't go wrong with this boogie-woogie blend...3:57
"Baby, you got nothing that I don't want...
Before we start, pass me the coffee pot, Black Coffee..."
David Bailey ~ "Java Junkie" A balanced, breakfast-to-bedtime smooth folk flavor...3:09
"See, I'm a coffee connoisseur, Dali lama of latte,
A genuine Java Junkie, every hour of every day..."
Amy Fox ~ "Cold Coffee" Casual but robust pop coffee of the day over ice...2:50
"And it's never the same when your love's gotten old,
It's like tryin' to put the heat back in,
Cold Coffee on the stove, yeah Cold Coffee..."
Tracy Stark ~ "Coffee" A thoroughly enjoyable cup with a jazzy splash to suit your taste...2:42
"Waking in morning and I'm hungry and cold,
I need a little something that won't put me on hold,
Well tea's too weak, and liquor'll knock me flat,
But you have a little coffee? Well, I'll take that. Coffee..."
Echoset ~ "Coffee Manhattan" Easy, warm, rock blend to soothe your palette...4:07
"I think it was the coffee,
That fell to the ground,
Stepped on by the woman,
With an ice cream in her hand
Couldn't see his eyes,
But to my surprise,
He smiled and walked away..."
Laura Marion ~ "Too Much Coffee" This certified organic earthy toned mountain vibe is mellow in a cup...2:56
"Too Much Coffee, too many cigarettes
I try and I try but I can't forget,
Lord, I can't drive you out of my mind..."
The Cautions ~ "Coffee Shop Girl" Tangy flavored power pop alternative - a surefire pick me up...3:11
"'Cause when she rings me up,
My heart starts speeding up,
One day soon, wait & see, I will ask her out with me - Got it bad for the Coffee Shop Girl..."
David Jewell & Sergio Samayoa ~ "Java Rocket Juice" Say good morning anytime with this spoken groove retro beatnik bean...3:04
"Good morning, hey there,
Cuppa java, the love buzz, cup of joe, rocket juice --
I need some rocket juice!"
Mojo Collins ~ "Black Coffee Blues" Smokey, smoldering blues without burning the pot...4:35
"Now, I don't need no cream or sugar,
I'll take it black if you please.
I got a pot on in the kitchen,
Pot of Kona coffee, brewed for you and me..."
Wendy Colonna ~ "Coffee Today" Purely sweet and clean aromatic coffee balladry rising through the morning fog...3:08
"Missed you for Coffee Today,
Always knew you'd go away someday.
Placing my mug to my lips
I made sure to drink double sips,
Your face has beckoned all my ships away today"
Louisa Vargas ~ "Coffee Your Way Café" Intensely festive fresh blend bridges languages with the world's love of coffee...5:31
"When life's too complicated,
I go to where the pavement's slated,
The tables are all set, my waiter's waited,
With freshly brewed elixir of the day -
Coffee Your Way Café"
As you can see, this compilation is chock full of sounds from some of the most dedicated coffee lovers in music today!
When you sit down for coffee and drop this disc in your player, or put it on while you're brewing, or listen while you drive, you're QUICKLY struck, struck with that euphoric coffee high - before you even take a single sip!
Because, I can't wait for you to have my CD! And, I found out I'm just in time for the Christmas rush, so we can gift all those music loving coffee drinkers with the PERFECT PRESENT. Can you believe it? That's like smelling a holiday cinnamon blend while everyone is still bobbing for coffee beans!
Plus, I found out that compilation CD's and soundtracks (did I mention COFFEE WITH JOE plays like the soundtrack to a coffee film??) often cost between $13 and $20 - I have to interview a LOT of musicians to put those kind of pennies in MY tip jar, so for as long as my first supply lasts, I'm offering COFFEE WITH JOE: 11 Cups of Coffee Your Way for only $9.97 and I'm paying the shipping!
You know, every night when I drain my head, and lay me down to sleep, I wish for the same thing -- that people's love for music AND coffee will unite the world, and that everyone will be able to enjoy life the way a coffee lover savors a great cup of coffee. Right now, I just want to share with you how many people you've helped by buying COFFEE WITH JOE:
GOODWILL Is Spread BY YOU
To everyone who hears the music on this disc; it was made with love, I LOVE it, and I'm passing it on to you!
To coffee farmers, their families and children, because a portion of each sale goes to Coffee Kids® and they help improve the quality of life of those people responsible for Coffee!
To the musicians on this disc, because they wrote their songs for everyone to enjoy, and now they'll reap some benefit from you passing along their labor of love!
To Me! Thank you, because I'm not really sure Mr. Capshaw had much faith in me when he gave me that leave of absence...
And, I've put my best Wild Critters on orders that are too big for me!
Coffee Houses and Retailers: Save additionally when you buy a case of 30! Please contact Wild Critter Productions, include your phone number, and they will promptly return your calls and answer questions regarding large order discounts.
I really appreciate the time you spent reading about my adventures, learning about CoffeeKids® and my long road to COFFEE WITH JOE!
Coffee Cup Joe™ is a hard-working journalist and foreign correspondent whose stories, writing, and interviews are enjoyed by people throughout the world.
He has often been seen on assignment in coffee farms and coffeehouses, exploiting any opportunity he can to be around his favorite things: people and coffee. On his many travels, Joe realized he could hear and share much about life while people were conversing over a good cup of coffee.
His passion inspires conversation; he loves to talk about movies, entertainment, sports, books, fashion, philosophy, cultures of the world, and-music. He loves music and, ever the journalist, has conducted interviews with some of the artists appearing on this CD, posting them on his website.
Joe believes coffee, like music, is a universal language that can unite the world. And basically, he hopes everyone will appreciate life's moments the way all coffee-lovers of the world savor a great cup of coffee.
You might recognize Coffee Cup Joe by his world famous catch-phrase...
(A wish of well being, meaning ‘have a fun life': idiom in the vernacular of Coffee Cup Joe™ and his life-enjoying companions)
Copyright 2004, Wild Critter Productions. Coffee Cup Joe™ and Coffee With Joe™ are claimed as trademarks by Wild Critter Productions, and Coffee Cup Joe™ is a registered copyright. Any reproduction is prohibited without express permission!